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The Principal London 4.0

Bloomsbury, London, England

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This hotel is currently closed for renovations.
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Review Summary

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  • Restored Victorian architecture, including grand marble columns and sculpted ceilings
  • Central location in Bloomsbury
  • Rooms have plush bedding and a blend of contemporary and period style
  • Restaurant has high arched ceilings, marble, and chandeliers
  • Stately bar with oak-paneled walls and traditional leather seating
  • Meeting rooms of all shapes and sizes


  • Fee for Wi-Fi

Bottom Line

The 371-room Hotel Russell is massive by London standards, and its grand Victorian architecture complements its scale. Tiny tooms blend contemporary style with period detail (like original, but non-working, fireplaces), though they don't live up to the expectation set by the common spaces. The hotel appeals mostly to couples and business travelers, with its historic character, numerous event spaces, and excellent location in central Bloomsbury. But it's also worth considering the nearby, and comparably priced, Ambassadors Bloomsbury.

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Grand common spaces, but less impressive rooms

With its sculpted ceilings, grand archways, giant marble columns, intricate mosaic tiling, and looming crystal chandeliers, Hotel Russell is ornately styled and packed with beautiful Victorian features.

The modern glass reception desk is tucked neatly to the side of the lobby, and its dark wood surface helps it to blend in with the more classic surroundings. The glass motif is repeated in some bedrooms, where oak and patterned glass headboards stand out as a unique feature. Overall, though, the rooms are decidedly less impressive than the common spaces.


A two-minute walk from Russell Square tube station, in the heart of Bloomsbury

Map of The Principal London

The local neighborhood of Bloomsbury, which stretches from Euston Road at its north border to Holborn at its southern border, is most famed for its strong literary heritage: The Bloomsbury Group, active throughout the 20th century, was an intellectuals’ collective that included notable members such as Virginia Woolf, and together promoted modern attitudes toward feminism, pacifism, the nature of consciousness, and sexuality. Other notable residents of the area included Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Charles Darwin, Charles Dickens, Bob Marley, and William Butler Yeats. Bloomsbury also houses a lovely array of garden squares, as well as the simultaneously fantastic and odious British Museum, where you can view centuries’ worth of relics from all over the globe -- collected primarily as a result of British colonialism.

Stroll through the area now, and you will notice a vague mixture of academics, doctors, tourists, and businessmen -- a direct consequence of the central location, and the presence of nearby hospitals and esteemed academic institutions such as the London School of Economics. Bloomsbury also conveniently borders Covent Garden and Soho on the south, the West End shopping district on the west, great dining options in Clerkenwell on the east, and national and international rail connections via King’s Cross on the north.

  • Eight-minute walk to the British Museum
  • 15-minute walk to Covent Garden
  • Nine-minute bus ride to Tottenham Court Road station and Soho
  • Nine-minute tube ride to Piccadilly Circus station, Piccadilly Circus and theatre district
  • 11-minute tube ride to Green Park station, including Mayfair, and Buckingham Palace
  • 13-minute tube ride to Hyde Park Corner station and Hyde Park
  • 14-minute tube ride to Knightsbridge station and shopping district including Harrods
  • 14-minute tube ride to Bond Street Station and West End shopping districts including Selfridge’s
  • 16-minute tube ride to Embankment station, including Trafalgar Square, and the South Bank
  • 21-minute tube ride to Notting Hill Gate station, Notting Hill, and Portobello Market
  • 21-minute tube ride to Westminster station, Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, and scenic walks along the Thames


Rooms blend modern and traditional style

Rooms have Victorian features such as bay windows, crown moldings and chandeliers. The plush white bedding and sleek wood furniture, however, feel decidedly contemporary. Coffee and tea are free, but there's a fee for Wi-Fi. Some rooms have a charming freestanding bath with rainfall showerhead, while others have standard shower/tub combos.


Numerous meeting rooms and an oak-paneled cocktail bar

Tempus Restaurant serves modern European cuisine in a classic period setting. Ornate brass chandeliers, giant marble columns, and beautiful sculpted ceilings are impressive. The restaurant was originally called Fitzroy Doll's, named after the architect who designed the dining room, as well as the nearly identical dining room of the "Titanic." Tempus Bar provides a stately setting for cocktails, with oak-paneled walls and traditional leather seating.

The 18 meeting rooms can accommodate between two and 450 people.

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1 - 8 Russell Square, London WC1B 5BE, United Kingdom


440 (207) 837-6470

Also Known As

  • Hotel Russell London

Room Types

  • Executive Double Room
  • Executive Single Room
  • Junior Suite
  • Standard Double Room
  • Suite
  • Superior Room

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